Growing up, I did not fully appreciate my Catholic faith. My parents made us go to mass on Sunday’s and we were forced to do all of our sacraments. Now that I am older, I am very thankful and appreciative of my Catholic faith. I am very proud to be Catholic. I know that many of my friends are not Catholic but many respect the traditions of our faith. Many non Catholics have great respect for our Pope, Pope Francis. There are many misconceptions of the Catholic. I think one of the biggest ones is that we worship Mary and all of the Saints. We do not worship these people but we pray to them to intercede on our behalf. It is like asking your mother or father if they will pray for you.
I want to mention a few of my favorite Saints but first
How does one become a Saint? (from BBC.come)
1. There is a waiting period after the person’s death of five years (can be waived by the Pope….which happened to Saint John Paul II).
2. After five years is over, a bishop of the diocese where the person died can open up an investigation to determine if their is enough evidence that the person really was a “servant of God” and lived a Holy Life. If the evidence points in this direction, the person is called a “servant of God.
3. The Pope reviews the information and if he thinks the person lived a life of “heroic virtue”, the person can be called “venerable.” Venerable means a title granted to a person that you have a great deal of respect for.
4.The next step is beatification, which is when a miracle needs to be proven to have happened because of prayers to this individual. A 49 year old French nun was completely cured of Parkinson’s Disease after her fellow nuns prayed to John Paul II. A miracle does not have to be proven if a person was a martyr, someone who died because of their faith.
5. Canonization is the final step of a person being declared a Saint. There needs to be a second miracle linked to this person (Martyrs only have to have one miracle). A women in Costa Rica had a serious brain illness and was completely cured after many prayed to John Paul II.
Here are some of my favorite Saints.
I know about St. Maximilian Kolbe because I used to attend a church that was named after him. St. Maximilian was a priest that ended up at Auschwitz, a concentration camp in Germany during World War II. On July 31, 1941, one prisoner escaped so the Germans chose ten men to die. St. Maximilian offered himself in the place of a young husband and father. He was the last of the ten to die, lasting two weeks without food or drink. The young man that was saved visited St. Maximilian Kolbe church in Cypress, Texas years later.